We had our DECISION (see Chapter 2).
Let me back up for a moment and start at the beginning of this magical journey. My husband, Robert Oblon, Sr., is my second husband whom I met in the Bay Area on Match.com in 2000 (yes, I met the man of my dreams on Match!). Before meeting Robert, I was a single, working mother for twelve years. When my daughter graduated high school I felt the anchor lifting. All of a sudden I wanted to move someplace new and start over as a single woman. I had absolutely come to peace with the idea of growing older by myself.
I began this process by putting my small house in Campbell, California, on the market. I also booked a rental in Kauai, Hawaii, for a 3-week decompression vacation by myself. Everything was in place…
Then, I received an email on Match.com from a man. His message was simple and straightforward, “Hi. Check out my profile and if you’re interested in meeting me, let me know.” I pulled up his Match profile. As I read it, I felt a strong bolt of energy surge through my body. IT WAS POWERFUL. He had my attention. He was an artist. He was Jewish. His photo was fuzzy. Couldn’t really tell what he looked like (those were the early days of the Web). It didn’t matter. I wanted to explore further.
Let me explain. I’m Jewish. I was a rebel and never desired to follow my parent’s wishes to marry a fellow Jew. But, after a lifetime of relationships not working out, I had recently decided to seek out a Jewish man. I thought maybe a shared cultural background would create a tighter bond. Also, I had been telling my friends that I was going to marry an artist some day. This revelation came through a psychic reading I had in Boston at the Tremont Tea Room (I highly recommend this place!). It felt right.
So, here was this email from a Jewish Artist. Hmm… Even though I was in the middle of packing my house, putting it on the market, moving out of the area, and leaving for three weeks in Kauai, I emailed him back. The rest is history. We’ve been together almost twenty years. Good story, eh?
The Remodel of Our Central Coast Home
My artist husband moved with me to the California Central Coast in 2001 (we both commuted between the Bay Area and Central Coast for three years) and we purchased a 2.5 acre property where he build his dream artist studio. We lived there for eighteen years. Now, in order to sell our house for top dollar, the house needed some updates. We started the remodel in May of 2018, figuring the remodel would be completed by mid-summer. I can see your eyes rolling already…you’ve been there, too. The best laid plans.
Our kitchen had been remodeled about ten years prior, and we didn’t want to do more to the kitchen because most buyers want to put their own touches on a kitchen. So we didn’t touch the kitchen.
Here’s the list of updates:
- Refinish wood floors in living room and den
- Replace two windows and any worn window screens
- Install electric gate to property (manual gate open prior)
- Replace gate columns and lights
- Rebuild portions of wrap-around deck
- Remodel upstairs master bathroom
- Remodel upstairs “jack and jill” bathroom
- Replace mirrored closet doors with modern closet doors
- Redo long, circular driveway (with chip seal)
- Paint exterior house and detached garage
I created an Excel spreadsheet for all the updates, with additional minor updates not listed above that we could do ourselves, and we started scheduling the work. The “jack and jill” bathroom remodel was the first project and that went quickly, being finished by mid-June.
Starting back in early summer, we had garage sales every weekend to pare down our belongings. But, as we made clutter disappear, more would appear! Every nook and cranny of our property had things tucked away. This went on forever…
Each of the updates created a fresher, move-in-ready effect that would attract our ideal buyer.
We were moving along quite nicely, until we were not. A huge snag happened. The plumbing contractor forgot to order a small window for the master bathroom shower, so the project stalled for two months. We wanted to replace the large window where the new tiled shower would be with a smaller window (I mean really, would you shower in front of a huge window??? I don’t think so!)
That meant we couldn’t paint the outside of the house yet. We were on hold, and, as a result, we missed the summer house-buying season. I was disheartened, but there was nothing to do about it. So I continued to de-clutter and pack what I could.
Delay, Delay, Delay
Meanwhile, we had our porch deck completely rebuilt, installed the electric gate with new columns and lights, and finished as many projects as we could while we were waiting for that darn bathroom window.
Fall appeared. It started to rain.
Finally the critical bathroom window arrived and we could see the end of this long remodel project. We met with our realtor in early October. We staged our house and it looked absolutely beautiful! Everything was shiny and fresh, and the new, white paint on the house made it look like a contemporary, country farm house.
The first open house was on October 21st. It had rained the day before. Basically, only a handful of “lookie-loo’s” came to our first open house. Everyone was older, most were retired, and looking for retirement property. They didn’t want to climb stairs to the second floor bedrooms. We wondered when would our buyer appear?
Time rolled on. I was trying to stay positive and hopeful….